Before everyone headed out for the summer, we asked the Company Artists to share a little about their experiences over the past season. This interview is from Lead Company Artist Lauren Ader-Cumpston, who has been with the company since 2012. Lauren will be returning to Ballet 5:8 for our Fifth Anniversary Season.
Q. Pick one word to describe your experience this past performing season.
A. Expansion - I think that this year in particular, Ballet 5:8 as an entire organization, has grown and expanded in numerous ways as we continue to define our place in the dance community. Our repertoire, artistry, number and location of performances have all experienced "expansion" in their own way. Because of this, I feel that I have also been stretched and challenged as a performing artist.
Q. What was your favorite moment onstage?
A. I am not sure that I have one particular moment that I can pick out. However, I loved being able to perform in Denver, CO where I grew up. It was wonderful to be able to share the work that we are doing at Ballet 5:8 with friends and family back home!
Q. Looking back, would you say that you learned something new about yourself or found yourself stretched out of your comfort zone?
A. I definitely found myself being stretched in many different ways this year. Each year I try to continue to push forward as an artist and to hone my technical abilities - this year I didn't have to try to hard to do this on my own! I loved being able to perform such varied repertoire this season, which challenged my movement style and pushed my comfort zone. This season also challenged my endurance for sure! We had a wonderfully full performing and touring schedule, which was such a blessing, but it took a lot of hard work and energy!
Q. What is something that took you by surprise?
A. I was surprised by how many different places we were able to travel this year - it was wonderful to perform in so many places across the country in front of audiences with many different backgrounds. As a newer company, it was incredible to be able to perform so much.
Q. What are you up to over the summer?
A. Relaxing a little bit! I will still be taking class each day and I am looking forward to teaching at Ballet 5:8 School of the Art's Summer Intensive Program!